Dating Experiences

Dating Experiences in Human Instinct: Deepest Desires

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Dating Experiences in Human Instinct: Deepest Desires

Human Instinct is a documentary series produced by the BBC and presented by Robert Winston. Professor Winston investigates human patterns of behavior and instincts. The docu-series comprises of four episodes. In each episode, Professor Winston dwells on a specific human instinct that he employs various social experiments and studies to pass his point. By exploring human instincts with the experiments, Professor Winston demonstrates how human instincts make them the uniquely successful species that they are and why they behave how they do. In Deepest Desires, which is the second episode of the series, Professor Winston delves into the complex world of human sexual attraction. He gets to the bottom of why men tend to be more open to casual sex than women. Winston also answers the question of what ignites sexual jealousy in men and why women become unfaithful in relationships.

Without a doubt, I can relate to some if not all of the experiences mentioned in the Human Instinct documentary. Professor Winston uses various social experiments to show why women are not very much open to the hook-up culture compared to their male counterparts. Taking the example of the first experiment conducted in a London university, I have encountered such situations many times in my life. People ask to hook up with each other all the time. It is no longer a big deal, especially if one has gone through college. It is not uncommon to find a random person that you do not know asking if you would be open to casual sex. In the experiment, two actors, a lady and a man are patched with hidden cameras and voice recorders and sent off to a campus. Their task is simple; to approach members of the opposite and tell them, “I have been noticing you on campus. You are very handsome/beautiful. Will you sleep with me?” The aim of the experiment is to show that men and women react differently to casual sex. Surprisingly, not even one woman agrees to the offer, but on the other hand, 3 out of 4 men agreed to sleep with the lady actor. For me, such results are not shocking at all. As a society, women have always been the moral gender. Irrespective of the upbringing, most women would never agree to such an offer, but on the other hand, men are seen to be more thirsty towards sex. Before today, I have always thought that it has to do with upbringing. However, I realize that there is a much deeper biological explanation for that. It has to do with the fact that women are the ones that carry the burden of child-bearing. It takes men significantly less time to procreate while it takes women nine months to carry the pregnancy. This is such a huge investment in general which makes women more choosy in picking partners when deciding to have sex.

I also relate with the experiences mentioned in the documentary in the sense that I have come across many scenarios where men are raising children that are not biologically their own. This is slowly becoming a problem in current society. I have encountered men sinking into depression after finding out what their wives were doing behind their backs. One can only imagine how devastating being in such a scenario can be for the man. The family setup is breaking apart, and women’s unfaithfulness is the leading cause. This is not to mean that men are faithful. In my opinion, the dating scene has become flooded with people that are not sure about what they want for themselves. There was this time I witnessed a particular family that I used to know falling apart. Just as described in the example in the movie, the mother fell ill, and the son could not help. The doctors told him that he was not eligible because his blood was not a match and neither could his father help. After carrying out a paternity test, he realized that the man he thought to be his father was not his biological father. It tore the man’s heart into pieces. He later found out that only their first-born daughter was his biological child out of all the three children. He ended up slapping his wife with a divorce notice and moved out of the house. He is a person that my family and I have known well for a long time. Seeing him in this state was devastating. He looked confused, full of anger, betrayed, and lost. Years later, after the incident, he found love again and is in the process of rebuilding his life.

Before watching this documentary, I never understood how it could happen that a woman would sire not one, not two, but numerous children with another man while still married to their husband. I think that is a self-centered thing to do as a woman. In my opinion, I felt that women that can do such a thing and live a lie do not respect their oaths and do not love their families. Being unfaithful brings trust issues between partners and places the family at the risk of collapsing. However, after taking time to internalize the facts presented in this documentary, I can understand how such a thing might happen. However, this is not to say that I support such behavior from women in any way. I now realize that everything is biological. I understand the theory that human bodies instinctively respond to a range of signals, which is how women detect potential partners. Opposite genes tend to attract. Because women want to choose the best traits for their offspring, they will be attracted to people with different traits than them, giving their offspring better evolutionary traits. For this reason, women will tend to look for traits that they do not have in other partners, and this is how they end up siring children outside marriage.

I agree with the documentary on the assertion that human beings are born with this innate desire to be loved and to have a companion. Sex is the one thing that has remained constant. Without a doubt, men and women desire sex as it is the only to ensure a continued generation. Love is the one thing that every person desires. This explains why people go out of their way to look good. I agree with the Professor that physical appearance plays a key role in the kind of partners that people attract. I agree that instincts are involved in how people select potential partners. Growing up, every person had their ideal notion of what kind of person they would want to date and eventually get married to. There are specific characteristics that cut across regarding how an ideal attractive man or woman should look. This has to do with a person’s personal preference and how they have been influenced in society. Even in the film, when the children are asked to describe an ideal girlfriend and boyfriend, they mention certain traits that one can tell that has been socialized by society. For instance, the girls mentioned that the perfect boyfriend should be tall, must be strong, and have a six-pack. The boys, on the other hand, also speak a similar language. They say they want a beautiful curvy girl that has a round bottom and big boobs. This points to how society has socialized people into defining beauty in a specific way. In essence, this conveys that for a girl to qualify as beautiful, they should be curvy with well endowed features. Similarly, girls have started conforming to the idea that idea boyfriend should be strongly built and tall to keep them safe. While the socialization process might somehow inform this, it has everything to do with human genes being designed to pick up invisible signals. In essence, it is only natural that people will be attracted to people with qualities that they do not possess. This is the case because their want to give their future offspring the best character traits possible.

I have always had a curious mind as regards the psychology that lies behind cheating. After coming across this documentary I can begin to understand that the concept is not specific to human beings but also other species. Just like women, men also cheat, but their reasons are different. The documentary uses an example of a chimpanzee and a gorilla. Unlike women, men are not in a position to tell whether they will pass their genes to their offspring. The reason is that women carry the pregnancy and men do not. A man’s testicle is bigger than a gorilla’s but smaller than a chimpanzee’s. A gorilla tends to have many females that are only dedicated to him. For this reason, the gorilla does not require a lot of sperms to guarantee conception. On the other hand, female chimps are never faithful, for this reason, males must ejaculate in as many females chimpanzees as possible to give their sperm a better chance of forming a baby. Because female chimpanzees are not as promiscuous and neither are they are faithful, this explains why a man’s testicles size is somewhere between a Chimp and a Gorilla. In my opinion, this explanation does not provide a robust and convincing explanation as regards men’s unfaithfulness in the dating scene. As much as women are not angels, we can agree that they are not as serial cheaters as their male counterparts. Since there seems to be a biological explanation to every human behavior and instinct, I am yet to completely grasp why men are unfaithful. Even as showcased in the film in the social experiment at a London university, men were more willing to have casual sex with the lady who told them they were good-looking before asking them to have slept with them. The fact that these were total strangers who were agreeing to a causal encounter shows the prevalence of promiscuity on the male gender. I agree with the film that even though women are also cheats that go to the extent of siring bastards out of wedlock, they generally show more restraint than their male counterparts. If three out of four men will agree to have a sexual encounter with a woman that is completely unknown to them, then it’s clear as day that the dating scene is getting worse as the day goes by.


Human Instinct S01E02 Deepest Desires (2002)